Library power outage caused Internet, other failures; FM having generators looked at this week
Power was not the only utility out of service during Sunday’s outage in the Charles V. Park Library.
Until early Monday morning, Central Michigan University’s wireless Internet also was out, said Duane Kleinhardt, manager of Information Technology communications. When the generators failed to switch on immediately, “a portion of campus” was without wired Internet for a few hours Sunday night, he said.
“Our equipment went as long as it could on battery life. The uninterrupted power supply lasted an hour,” he said. “When the network came back up, some routing information had to be put into the system.”
Generators in the library were set to automatic mode, meaning they should turn on if the library lost power. But Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of Facilities Management, said the generators did not kick on when the power went out. They were only powered up when FM employees came and flipped the switch about an hour after the outage.
The library’s security cameras also were down, but only until the generators were turned on, said CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley.
“Some of the systems came back on when the generator was turned on,” he said.
Gerry Edgar, the library’s building coordinator and business manager, said one of the three digital video recorders did not work after the generators turned on. It was fixed by Monday afternoon.
“(They’re) only important at night,” he said.
Lawrence said the outage, which lasted until about 4:50 a.m. in the library, was caused by a short in the power line that runs from the Park Library to the Music Building.
He said power was off at Anspach, Brooks and Foust Halls, as well as the Health Professions Building and the library. The generators in the other buildings functioned properly.
“It took a while to figure out what happened,” he said.
Lawrence said even if all the generators had worked properly, two graduate students stuck in the elevator would not have been able to get out. He said the generator is only powerful enough to run one elevator.
“Unfortunately, that building has two elevators,” he said.
China graduate student Shanshan Wang and Mount Pleasant graduate student Maria McNeel were not in the generator-powered elevator. They were released after an hour when an elevator mechanic arrived at about 10:15 p.m. Sunday.
Lawrence said a maintenance worker is expected to inspect the generators this week.
No other problems
Yeagley said although the Central Alert system was not affected by the outage, he decided it did not deem a campus-wide notification.
“The reason for the alert is jeopardy,” he said. “That was fairly isolated.”
Yeagley said no foul play was reported during the outage.
The library opened with little problem Monday, Edgar said.
Randy Claypool, facilities specialist for the library’s access services, said there were no items left Sunday night by evacuated students. The building was emptied within 20 minutes of the outage.
“My understanding is that everyone had time to get their stuff,” he said.
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